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The Emancipation of George Jackson: Featuring Professor Nolan Bennett
October 23, 2020 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Is writing while imprisoned an act of liberation or⏤as Michel Foucault described the confession⏤a “ritual of producing penal truth”? This talk draws on the writings and legacy of 1970s activist George Jackson to articulate what he and fellow radicals envisioned as the political potential and limitations of writing as emancipatory, and to consider what hope we should see in prison writing today.
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Nolan Bennett is a political theorist specializing in American political thought, literature, and criminal justice. He is an assistant professor in Democracy and Justice Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, and has previously held positions at Georgetown and Duke universities after receiving his degree from Cornell. Bennett researches and writes on why so many people in the United States confront democratic dilemmas by offering their own life stories through autobiography, slave narrative, prison writing and more. His first book, The Claims of Experience: Autobiography and American Democracy(2019), provides a new theory for what makes autobiography political throughout the history of the United States and today. His writing can also be found in Political Theory, American Political Thought, The Review of Politics, and elsewhere. More can be learned about Bennett’s work at nolanbennett.com.
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